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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > Jul-19 > Let’s start with art

Let’s start with art

Part 7 First steps for sketching with line and wash, by Linda Birch
Pens for line and wash (from left): dip pen, stylus technical pen, water-soluble felt tip, permanent marker, brush pen (bottom left) and twig dipped in ink (bottom right)

Line and wash is the addition of watercolour or dilute ink to a drawn line, usually with a pen. It has been advocated and used since the Renaissance as a useful way of working, usually to complete studies prior to an oil or tempera painting.

Line and wash has always been the favoured way of working outside, because tonal paintings can be created quickly and worked from later in colour.

Artists of the 18th and 19th centuries, travelling on Grand Tours in Europe, used the method to record the sights they saw.

I have an album of wash drawings from 1821 (top right), created by William Buckle on a journey around the Lake District. Besides being useful, tonal line and wash paintings such as these are delightful pieces of art in themselves. Line and wash can be used either way around: a drawn pen line first, with a wash of water or colour added; or colour first and a pen line added subsequently. I will demonstrate both ways of using it.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the July issue of Leisure Painter. LP is aimed at teaching beginners and amateur painters to paint successfully using traditional skills, and features some of the best-known art tutors in the UK. This month you will find David Bellamy discussing how to be a more creative watercolourist with the use of collage, mediums, printing and more. Tim Fisher continues his personal look at colours, with a demonstration on how he uses orange lead pastel in his work. Colin Joyce introduces this month's painting project from the road, as he introduces readers to stunning scenery from the NC500 route in Scotland. There are also demonstrations and tutorials in watercolour, acrylic, pastel, coloured pencil and oils, and a beginner's look at painting on silk, covering all your favourite subjects: landscapes, flowers, trees, figures, wildlife, still life and more.